LGUs may use 20% dev’t fund in COVID-19 fight – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020   •   313

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said that local government units (LGU) are allowed to use its 20% development fund to undertake measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in their areas.

The DILG said it has signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1, series of 2020 with the Department of Budget and Management, giving leeway for the LGUs to utilize their development fund to continue to provide basic services to their constituents.

“With the signing of the JMC, we are giving LGUs more flexibility in using their development fund for disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and to continue to provide basic services to their constituents who are severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.

Under the JMC, LGUs may use their 20% development fund for the procurement of personal protective equipment, hospital equipment, and supplies, disinfectants, sprayers, disinfection tents, and other supplies or misting equipment, and COVID-19 testing kits, reagents, and equipment.

Food, transportation, and accommodation expenses of medical personnel and other LGU personnel directly involved in the implementation of COVID-19-related initiatives as well as food assistance and relief goods for affected households may also be charged to the development fund.

Expenses for the construction or rental of additional spaces to accommodate COVID-19 PUIs and PUMs as well as for the operation of stand-alone or mobile testing laboratories may also be funded out of the development fund.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, however, clarified that there are also limitations in using the fund.

“Hindi ito puwedeng gamitin para bumili ng furniture, fixture[s], appliances at motor vehicles,” Malaya said.

The fund also does not cover personal services expenditures, such as salaries, wages, overtime pay and other personnel benefits.

Administrative expenses such as supplies, meetings, communication, water and electricity, petroleum products, other general services, as well as registration or participation fees in training, seminars, conferences or conventions as well as traveling expenses cannot also be charged to the development fund.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Zambo City soars to 59

Maris Federez   •   May 3, 2020

Zamboanga City, Philippines — The city’s task force on COVID-19 has recorded 29 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus disease, based on the results of the latest batch of tests conducted by St. Luke’s Medical Center.

In an advisory released on Saturday (May 2), the Zamboanga City government said that the latest result led to a total of 59 confirmed COVID-19 cases.  

The task force said that the confirmed cases are part of the batch of specimen which was sent to St. Luke’s on April 27 and 30 based on an agreement entered into by the Zamboanga City Government and St. Luke’s Medical Center through Brent Hospital that led to faster turnaround of results.

“Two of the 29 confirmed cases are BJMP personnel, while the rest are persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the City Reformatory Center,” the advisory said.

It added that the city’s LGU, “in collaboration with BJMP, is exerting best efforts to include providing resources and logistics to address the outbreak inside the city jail.”

“Actions have also been taken to facilitate the transfer of the women dormitory to avoid contamination of older PDLs and those with underlying medical conditions,” the statement concluded. —/mbmf

LGUs may decide on ECQ only upon approval of IATF — Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   May 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) cannot deviate from the national government’s measures under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or the general community quarantine (GCQ) in their respective areas.

In an interview with Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Friday (May 1), IATF and Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said each LGU must coordinate first with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) before they make any decision such as imposing hard lockdowns in highly urbanized areas in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in affected areas.

Wala pong mga local na pamahalaan na pwedeng magdeklara ng ECQ sa kabuoan ng kanilang mga teritoryo ng walang pagpayag ng IATF, [No local government may declare ECQ in their area of jurisdiction without the approval of the IATF],” Roque stressed.

The Palace official confirmed that hard lockdowns imposed in the City of Manila such as in Sampaloc and Tondo Districts were approved by the IATF as coordinated by Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.

As for the resumption of public transportation services in areas under GCQ, the official said the strict implementation of health protocols and social distancing measures remain in authorized public utility vehicles.

Dahil binuksan nating bahagya na ang ekonomiya, so kinakailangang mag-operate po sila dahil di po makakapasok sa trabaho ang mga mamamayan kung walang public transporation, [We are gradually opening the economy, they have to operate as well so workers can come to work and they cannot do that without public transportation,]” Roque concluded. MNP (with inouts from Rosalie Coz)

DILG tells LGUs to strictly ban tricycles from national highways

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered local chief executives to strictly enforce the ban on tricycles, pedicabs and motorized pedicabs on national highways.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said this is part of the road clearing operations being implemented by the government.

The DILG chief stressed that tricycles and pedicabs have long been banned from plying major roads. These tricycles are also not allowed to even cross or make a U-turn on national highways.

“Local governments must review and modify tricycle routes according to the ban and are encouraged to include in their plans the construction of local roads or overpasses where the tricycles can operate,” he said.

The Philippine National Police will help local leaders enforce the ban, the DILG chief said.

Aside from enforcing the ban, Año also directed local government units (LGU) to create a tricycle task force that will draw up a tricycle route plan in their respective areas.

Through DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-036, Año said that each city and municipality tricycle task force should be separate from the tricycle regulatory boards to formulate or review its tricycle route plan.

The task force will be composed of the mayor as chairman, the chief of police as vice-chairman, while the Sanggunian’s committee chair on transportation or public safety, the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, the head of the tricycle regulatory board, the head of the Department of Public Order and Safety, the planning and development officer, the head of the traffic management office, and the local government operations officer will be its members.

Representatives of the transportation department and its attached agencies will function as resource persons of the task force, while the head of the city or municipal legal office shall provide secretariat support.

The DILG Chief added that the task force should meet with stakeholders and rationalize all tricycle routes to enforce the ban, identify national roads within the jurisdiction of the LGU, and determine the present and proposed routes in view of drafting a tricycle route plan (TRP) within 30 days from the issuance of the memorandum.

He added that the TRP should include a schematic map of the location of tricycle terminals, the national highways and the portions thereof to be used by tricycles if there is no alternative route.

The installation of appropriate signages, marks for lanes and other safety features to guide all vehicles must also be detailed in the plan as well as create awareness among residents and motorists of new tricycle routes or portions of highways allowed to tricycles because of lack of alternative route; a color scheme or emblem for tricycles that ply a route traversing a national highway; and penalties for violators.

Non-compliance to the latest directive will warrant the issuance of a show-cause order, Año said. “Failure to provide a sufficient response shall be a ground for the filing of appropriate administrative cases pursuant to Section 60 of the Local Government Code and other laws and policies,” he warned.

He also said that compliance with the trike ban order will form part of the assessment LGUs’ compliance to the implementation of the presidential directive on road clearing.


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